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Choosing a domain name

When deciding on which domain name you wish to register, you will need to consider three areas:

  • The choice of Top Level Domain – such as .uk
  • The choice of Second Level Domain - such as .co.uk, .plc.uk or .me.uk
  • The name itself - such as bbc.co.uk

Having decided on your preferred domain name, you’ll need to check whether it is available or whether it has been registered already by someone else. This is done by using the WHOIS service, an online search facility that provides details of domain name registrations. Many registrars also provide a WHOIS service.

From 10 June 2014 shorter, simpler .uk domain names will be available for the first time. For more info see here.

Avoiding disputes

The Terms and Conditions of domain name registration require you to declare that your registration does not infringe the rights of others, (such as their trademark rights for example). If a third party thinks that your domain registration takes unfair advantage of their rights they can take the dispute to our Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) or to the English courts.

Not all rights are linked to trademarks or the recognised names of individuals or organisations. In preparation for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, for example, the Government introduced new rights and powers to help the organisers of the Games protect their sponsors’ investments and the reputation of the Games. These rights apply to various uses of words and symbols with links to the 2012 Games, including .uk domain names.

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